6 Reasons Why Print Marketing Is Thriving

A few years ago, you might have heard marketers claiming we were facing the end of an era for print. Online marketing is cheap, available to almost any business owner, and capable of reaching a global audience, so it seemed like the natural order of things for print marketing to die out. But this isn’t the case at all.

A few years ago, you might have heard marketers claiming we were facing the end of an era for print. Online marketing is cheap, available to almost any business owner, and capable of reaching a global audience, so it seemed like the natural order of things for print marketing to die out. But this isn’t the case at all.

Print advertising spending has dropped only slightly in the past several years, and is projected to remain stable at roughly $24 billion per year in 2021 and beyond. Business owners are still relying on print marketing to spread word about their businesses, despite the advantages of digital marketing strategies. But why is this the case?

Lower Costs

First, the cost of printing has dramatically decreased over the past couple of decades, thanks in part to the availability of online services. Printing a brochure online, for example, is much cheaper than printing one at your local office supply shop. That’s because printing companies have invested in new equipment that can operate much more efficiently, and rely on digital files and tools to facilitate more efficient production. This is especially true of higher-run orders, where businesses can decrease their per-unit price to absurdly low levels. Ultimately, this keeps printed advertising strategies in line with digital marketing strategies in terms of cost.

Higher Accessibility

Printed materials also are more accessible than they’ve ever been in the past, again thanks to the prevalence of online tools. Most major printing companies offer online platforms where business owners can create an account, log in, manage their ongoing materials, lay out exactly how they want their items to look, and order something new with the click of a button. Rather than dealing with a salesperson or trying to navigate the complex world of technical printing requirements, they can navigate thousands of options in a simple, consolidated interface. This makes print more appealing than ever.

Mutual Existence

Traditional advertising and online marketing aren’t mutually exclusive. Naysayers proclaiming the end of traditional marketing tactics tended to assume that if a business was spending $60,000 a year on print marketing materials, they would soon shift to spend $60,000 a year on online marketing strategies. But this hasn’t been the case; instead, businesses would often split their budgets, spending $40,000 on print marketing and $20,000 on new online strategies. In some cases, businesses would simply increase their total budget, retaining their $60,000 traditional spending and experimenting with an additional $20,000 for online techniques. The success of online marketing in no way overrules or negates the power of printed materials.

Consumer Preferences

It’s also important to note that not everyone prefers consuming material in a digital format. About 10% of the U.S. population doesn’t use the Internet, basically rendering them unreachable through digital means. In addition to that, some people either prefer or are more easily persuaded by material that comes to them in a printed format; for example, they may like flipping through the pages of a physical booklet rather than browsing through online pages.

This factor is somewhat dependent on your target demographics. If your audience strongly prefers printed materials, or is better influenced by them, there’s no reason to switch to digital marketing.

Local Visibility

Printed ads tend to be more approachable for local businesses; it’s easier to distribute printed flyers and booklets around a neighborhood than it is to climb the search engine rankings for keyword terms related to your city (though this may also be possible). Accordingly, new businesses trying to cater to a local population tend to favor traditional, print-based advertising methods.

New Techniques and Integrations

It should also be known that the world of print marketing today is very different than it was 20 years ago. New techniques, and new integrations with other marketing technologies make it much more versatile—and powerful. For example, thanks to digital lists and inventive printing techniques, you can customize your printed ads with the individual names of your intended recipients. You can also use QR codes or other tactics to send your printed ad recipients to an online or digital destination.

The Caveats

Of course, this isn’t to say that print marketing is a perfect strategy in the modern era, or that it should be favored over online marketing. There are a wide range of tactics available, in both digital and printed formats, and how your business performs depends not only on which tactics you choose, but how well you execute them. A good high-level strategy, backed with research and grounded in creativity, will always succeed more than a poorly planned one, regardless of the specific tactics used to execute them. Keep that in mind as you plan your next strategy—and how your campaigns might evolve in the future.

6 Key AdWords Reports to Use for Your Small Business

Advertising your small business in Google AdWords is easy to get started. But spending your budget efficiently to connect with the most likely potential customers? That’s an entirely different matter, and it means understanding the available AdWords reports.

Advertising your small business in Google AdWords is easy to get started. But spending your budget efficiently to connect with the most likely potential customers? That’s an entirely different matter, and it means understanding the available AdWords reports.

What are reports, and why are they so helpful? As you advertise with AdWords, data generated by your campaigns, ad groups and ads is collected and saved — and we’re talking huge amounts of data, ranging from which keyword phrases trigger your ads to which devices your visitors are using. This continually growing mountain of data is way too immense to be useful as a whole. You need a way to use this data and identify important trends or cautionary red flags.

That’s where AdWords reports come in. Determining which reports are most worthwhile can seem overwhelming. Read on for six key AdWords reports that you should start using for your small business.

Report 1: Campaign Performance Report

Before you start digging into specific sets of data, it’s good to step back and take a broad-level view of your campaigns. Do this by running a Campaign Performance report, which includes all the default stats you’ll normally find at the campaign level in AdWords. These stats include clicks, click-through rate (CTR), average ad positions, conversions, conversion rates, cost per conversion and conversion value. Pay especially close attention to campaigns with low costs per conversion — find out what makes them successful and apply that knowledge to new and existing campaigns.

Also, you can customize the date ranges of Campaign Performance reports going back weeks, months or years. You’ll cover the most ground with Campaign Performance reports that cover more recent timeframes, but occasional reports across larger timeframes could open your eyes to important trends you otherwise might have missed.

Report 2: Search Terms Report

Want to know how people are finding your ads? You should, and that’s why the Search terms report is helpful. This report reveals the actual search queries people type (or speak) into Google that cause your ads to appear.

Adding relevant, high-performing search terms to your keyword lists usually results in more traffic at lower CPCs. Conversely, adding irrelevant search terms to your negative keyword lists will boost CTRs, reduce CPCs and likely lower your costs per conversion.

Report 3: Placement Report

The Placement Report reveals how your ads perform across Google’s massive Display Network, which is generally a good source of less-expensive, high-volume traffic. However, people who click ads on the Display Network often aren’t as buyer-oriented as those who shop on the Search Network. As a result, Display Network traffic often doesn’t convert as well as Search Network traffic. Also, performance can vary greatly between Display Network websites. The Placement Report provides data from specific Display Network websites so you don’t have to guess which ones are worthwhile. Use managed placements to target your ads toward top-performing Display Network websites, then reduce your bids for low-performing websites or block them from showing your ads.

When reviewing this report, just remember that Display Network trends usually don’t mirror Search Network trends. With that in mind, you’re better off focusing on conversion data rather than superficial metrics such as costs per click and CTR.

Report 4: Audience Demographics Report

Who is clicking your online ads, and which of those visitors are most likely to become paying customers? To start answering this question, check your audience demographics report data. Do this under the Display Network tab for Display ads or the Audiences tab for Search Network ads. This report breaks down your Search Network traffic by gender and age range. You can also see the parental status of Display traffic and household income for Video traffic.

If certain demographics outperform others, then you can target your campaigns specifically toward those audiences. You can also lower your bids for under-performing audiences.